Business Diary: Britain sticks it to French again

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The Independent Online

In this era of isolationism, the British Government clearly isn't missing any opportunity to stick two fingers up to the French.

It has just announced plans to build the first airport on the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena, whose small population have been asking for such a facility for years. The British dependency is best known, of course, as the place where Napoleon was finally exiled. Did we mention that construction will be completed in 2015, the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo?

Mack dreams of a different lifestyle

What would our leading bankers have done if they hadn't pursued a career infinance? It seems fair to say not many of them would have opted for the alternative career choice John Mack, the Morgan Stanley boss, told staff he would have fancied at his leaving do this week. Mack reportedly told colleagues that he would have liked nothing more than to sell women's shoes.

Sorrell mulls another move

How lovely to hear the dulcet tones of Sir Martin Sorrell on Radio Four's Desert Island Discs yesterday morning. His song choices were impeccable, though he will have been piqued to have been told that taking an iPad was a breach of the show's rules. Still, at least the WPP boss was prepared to contemplate life on a different island – the advertising company has so far refused to return to this one, despite some generous tax reforms thrown its way.

Time to call in the big guns

If the eurozone is in need of a "big bazooka" when it comes to strengthening the European Financial Stability Fund, what should we make of the new rouble-denominated bonds issued by the energy company Uranium One? It describes them as Kalashnikov Bonds, because they are linked to assets in Russia. We assume that default is not an option.

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